ffj's early retirement

Where are you and where are you going?
Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:10 pm

ffj wrote:
Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:23 pm
@Jason
Haha, I think you hit the nail on the head. Just interesting enough not to be kicked off of the forum. No worries, I've accepted it. :)
I didn't mean that your narrative isn't significant or interesting, I meant that in addition to your own thingamabob, it seems that this is the place that all things ancillary, tangential, fleeting, unclassifiable, highly personal, questionably relevant, semi-serious and fundamentally non-essential, get shit talked out. I guess what I'm saying is that you appear to be the bartender of the forum.

halfmoon
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:12 am

ffj, I'm a little late to this party...but of course I have Thoughts.

1. Your photo of the snowy landscape from your lovely, insulated, high-end window? Looks pretty darned good to me. Sprinkle some bird seed outside and go back to the computer. :D

2. Selling an organ. We knew someone who sold a kidney to his relative for $500. This struck me as utterly bizarre. Either it's a loving gesture given for free, or it's a freaking body part worth a fortune. $500 is both too little and too much. WHY??

3. I love the "hell, no" from your chickens. Sometimes we need to learn from a higher intelligence.

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:33 am

halfmoon wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:12 am

2. Selling an organ. We knew someone who sold a kidney to his relative for $500. This struck me as utterly bizarre. Either it's a loving gesture given for free, or it's a freaking body part worth a fortune. $500 is both too little and too much. WHY??
I think you could take the position that he was at once being "fair" as well as the worst negotiator on the planet outside of the highest ranking US elected official you can think of. If I had to guess, he was working off of assessed value (parts and labor) as opposed to market value. He wasn't factoring in the life or death circumstances of the potential buyer. I could see looking at a detached kidney in a medicine jar and saying "Yeah, $100 for the kidney and $400 for getting it out seems about right." But that's only if you plan on just sticking it on a mantel. It's different if the person buying it needs it in order to live. Like if you owned a used car that was worth $500 under normal circumstances but someone came up to you during the apocalypse and it was the only used car left in the area you should get a lot more for it at that time than during non-apocalyptic times.

Maybe the buyer misled him and said "I just collect kidneys." But my guess is he smiles thinking about what a great deal he made every time he takes a steady piss.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:45 am

2. Selling an organ. We knew someone who sold a kidney to his relative for $500. This struck me as utterly bizarre. Either it's a loving gesture given for free, or it's a freaking body part worth a fortune. $500 is both too little and too much. WHY??


When I'm dead they can have whatever they want assuming any of it would still work. But I'm not giving up anything voluntarily before then. Not even for $500. :shock: WTF?

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:49 pm

Life has been very busy as of late. As hard as I try to stay out of the workforce, it keeps sucking me back in by various means, mainly by people asking me to help them with their needs. Currently I am in the process of remodeling a home by by re-doing the master bath, the front entrance, the kitchen and building a room addition. It has been a lot of work to say the least and one of the guys that I normally help is helping me with this job. The trade-off is that he wants help with his next job, which is trimming out a 5,000 sf home. The money is good but this is getting out of control.

Meet Cash:

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Cash is named Cash because according to his owners (my neighbors) he is the most expensive free dog they have ever received. Cash just cost them another $100 because he took my shoes off my porch and chewed them to pieces. Cash also likes to kill my chickens, eat my dog's food, and poop in my yard. One time as he was squatting down I noticed something long coming out of his ass which perplexed me but at the time I was more concerned with him pooping in his yard instead of mine. Each time I yelled at him to leave he would bark at me (he barks a lot at me), which caused whatever was coming out of his butt to come out some more with each bark. Finally, after a salvo of expressing his displeasure at me at interrupting his morning constitution, a long object ejected itself and Cash promptly ran to his yard leaving me with his deposit. Come to find out, he also enjoys eating socks.

Not only is Cash a nuisance, but other dogs regularly find their way to my yard. One morning a chocolate lab, a pit bull, Cash, my dog, a blue heeler, and a bulldog were all running around my yard and I decided I'd had enough. It's time to build a fence that will keep my dog inside my property and others out. I would also like to have some free-ranging chickens that won't get eaten. So today I started in earnest building a fence that will encompass an acre. I'm going to take my time as digging holes sucks for the most part but I think the payoff is going to be nice, not only no more roaming dogs but also it will set boundary's for future landscaping which will help tie everything together. And it may make a thief choose an easier target.

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I'll use woven wire for actual fencing and planks to mimic a horse fence for the front of the house.

I also have started my tomato and pepper plants as well as some flowers. I experimented with straight white led lights this time and they seem to work fairly well. Currently I have about 60 tomato plants and about 20 peppers as it's always best to overgrow for future losses. I'm hoping to set them out in a cold frame here soon but winter just won't give it up quite yet.

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jacob
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by jacob » Sat Mar 24, 2018 4:04 pm

Are you using standard flourescents or specific grow lights for that setup? I'm thinking of building something similar. I already have the standard tubes and it's my understanding that the main problem with incadescents/standard lights is the heat and not the spectrum.

PS: My neighbor's new dog is called Penny. They got her for free :mrgreen:

George the original one
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by George the original one » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:49 pm

Nice starts! Mine look to be weeks behind yours.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Mar 24, 2018 7:48 pm

@jacob

Those are off the shelf led shop lights. They were $29 apiece but I got them for $22 apiece on clearance at Lowes. I can't find the box or remember the manufacturer and the lights don't have a maker sticker so I don't know the name of them but I think it was Utilitech? I had to supply the cord and wire them up but I had a bunch of cords lying around from the old fluorescents that I had trashed. I got the inspiration from the led hydroponic system sitting below the table, which has several colors for a fuller spectrum. I needed more lights for my shop so I rationalized that if they didn't work as grow lights then I would use them for my workshop, but they seem to work pretty well. At night it looks like a grow operation upstairs. haha

@George

I started the bigger ones in February because I was bored and wanted something to grow, which was a little too soon. Now they are getting too big and they need to be outside but the weather has been horrible. It snowed 4 inches several days ago and today it hasn't broken 36 degrees F. It's still too cold for a cold frame.

Here is what else I'm growing.

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This is wheat grass and this container was started 5 days ago. There is no soil, just seeds and once a day watering with holes in the bottom of the container for drainage. You simply soak the seeds for eight hours, dump them in the container, and watch them grow with a watering once a day. This is strictly for my chickens although it's perfectly edible for humans too. I paid $8 for a 50 pound sack of wheat seeds and I should conservatively be able to grow at least 200 pounds of feed for them out of that. They eat the roots, leaves and leftover seeds leaving nothing to waste. I'm also experimenting with barley but it isn't as prolific as the wheat but I should still be able to double my yield. Here is a video on the subject:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_zpsoCgHyE

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theanimal
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by theanimal » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:57 pm

What are you growing under the full spectrum lights? I've read they are better for growing than the plain white ones. But I doubt it makes a significant difference for home applications.

That story about Cash was entertaining. There's not much worse than other people's nuisance dogs.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:17 am

@animal

Bell peppers at the moment. But man are they growing slowly; I don't think it is warm enough for them to really take off. It took two weeks for them to germinate and now that they are a plant it just seems they've stopped growing but they do look healthy.

For contrast, the tomatoes germinated in 4 days and grew very fast in the hydroponic system and more importantly transplanted very well into soil. I think its a lack of warmth issue as they perform much better under hot conditions.

My neighbors (they moved in about a year ago) are actually pretty good people so the dog doesn't bother me too much most of the time. However, one of my pet peeves is walking around my yard and having a dog run up and bark at me, which Cash likes to do when they are gone. That's when I wish I could run his ass down and tackle him, but that's not going to happen. That son-of-a-bitch can run like a deer. :D

The fence will keep him where he needs to be and the neighbors have already offered to pay for some of it which a lot of people wouldn't have done.

As I am typing this I just noticed that there is a pit bull running around getting my dog riled up. Time to go to work. :roll:

jacob
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by jacob » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:20 am

http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page ... at=2,43224 You can always throw more electricity at the problem.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:04 pm

Yeah, I thought about that, but I didn't want one more thing to plug in the outlet. I haven't noticed an increase in my electric bill with the lights but I assume a heating mat will have a much higher wattage output. As I can buy pepper plants for a dollar apiece here in a few weeks I don't think it will be worth buying one. Maybe next year when I don't have to buy any more lights.

The pit bull is still in my yard as I can't run him off. He just wants to play I guess. When I shoo him away he just comes right back and lays down and watches me dig holes. What are you gonna do?

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:47 am

Our ladder truck is finally getting built after months of being queued in line. Remarkably, this process started well over two years ago and now it is finally happening. I thought I would share some of the build pictures thus far. We are hoping to receive a finished truck sometime in May but we'll see.

I didn't take the pictures so they are a little bit potato quality, but the chassis is well on the way as well as the body of the truck. They have also mounted the pump internals. We'll be doing a mid-build inspection sometime soon.

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ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun May 06, 2018 10:15 am

Starting to see some progress on the fence. I think I've set around 70 or so posts so far and have hung two gates with a third yet to be done. Contrary to what you may think, digging a fence hole isn't that big of a deal, it's the setting of the post that really sucks. All of that dirt that just got dug up now has to be tamped down around a post while keeping the post straight. I've also gotten my corners cross-braced but still without my tensioning wire set. That's coming soon and once that is done I can stretch the woven wire fence in place. Like all of my projects, I'm in no hurry as that takes all of the enjoyment out of the process.

I don't know if you can see, but there is a piece of rebar centered in each cross-post that will catch the tension wire. I had to drill out a hole and drive the rebar in and then cut it to length with a hacksaw.

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My longest stretch at 200 plus feet with a gate in the middle:

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My front gate installed along with the dog. He follows me wherever I go and ends up in so many photos whether I like it or not. When you tell him to move he just looks at you confused. He's kinda dumb but I love him. It's probably what my wife says about me.

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I am currently learning how to use Adobe Photoshop and Indesign and for someone who isn't terribly gifted with using a computer it's a bit overwhelming. But I'm watching tutorials on YouTube, thank you Gareth, and SLOWLY picking it up. The hardest part for me is the crazy amount of choice and not understanding what each option means. It's probably going to take me this entire year to get a good handle on it and learn how to use the options. I'm old enough to have gone through school without having had to use a computer much, even in college, and it shows as a lot of features just aren't intuitive.

Our ladder truck is still progressing, and we will probably take possession sometime in June. Here are some more pics and again I didn't take them so apologies for quality.

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Here's the torsion box which is what provides the platform and stability for the ladder. Sort of like the foundation of a house, very important.

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Pump:

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Seppia
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Seppia » Sun May 06, 2018 10:45 am

Your pictures plus a bit of international travel are basically my idea of the idyllic FIRE scenario.

Keep being awesome :)

Jason
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Jason » Sun May 06, 2018 12:30 pm

The other day I had to wait for a fire truck to pull into the station and I could hear it's internal noise. It got me thinking:

- Do they have heating/cooling systems for the water? Does it matter what temperature the water is when it hits fire? Is hot water as effective as putting out a fire as cold water?
- Do they have back up a generator system for all the electronic systems? Are there separate batteries for the engine and all the other functions?
- I'm assuming its manual transmission? How many gears? How fast can they go?
- I am surprised at the size of the steering wheel in yours. It looks like a normal car steering wheel. Do they still have the steering wheel in the back like in this?

https://www.google.com/search?client=sa ... 8&oe=UTF-8

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun May 06, 2018 9:53 pm

@Seppia

Thank you for the compliment but keep in mind I only show the good stuff, haha, but I do have it pretty good. And by having it good I mean having more projects in my head than I could ever get too. My neighbor asked me if I ever get bored the other day and I just laughed at the silliness of the question.

My latest experiment:

A herb garden which consists of cumin, parsley, rosemary, peppermint, oregano, tarragon, thyme, anise, basil,chamomile, chives, lemon balm, cress, cilantro, dill, marjoram, and sage. If they all prosper, then I need to find recipes for them. I mean, what do you do with cress? I have no idea but it should be fun to find out.

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@Jason

I'm going to move your question over to the fire thread where I will be happy to answer your questions.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sun May 13, 2018 9:58 am

Finished the cross-bracing on the corner posts and I am now ready to actually put the woven wire fence up. Unfortunately, I'll now have to pay for the fence and it's not cheap. It's about $250 for a 200 foot roll and I'll need three.

This is high tensile wire that ratchets tight. These corners are dead strong now and I'm pretty impressed at how immovable they are because I didn't dig my corner post as deep as it should have been ( I got tired of digging after two feet) as they recommend at least three feet. I think it's going to be fine.

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My iris's are doing quite well this year. They were looking quite exceptional the other evening so I took some pictures.

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And the ladder truck is about two weeks out from being finished. They still have details to complete and of course put the ladder on top of the truck.

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ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Mon Jun 25, 2018 11:26 am

The herb garden is coming along:

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I've had great success with the lemon balm, cilantro, tarragon, oregano, peppermint, basil, and dill. Unfortunately, the cress, cumin, marjoram, and parsley haven't done so well. I'm also growing strawberries from seed with mixed results as they are really growing slowly. I mean really slowly but they look healthy so I don't know if this is normal or not. I also broke down and bought a rosemary plant as my rosemary seeds failed to germinate.

As an aside, I also planted coleus seeds and man are they easy to grow. So if you want some easy color for your patio, consider growing them. They grow fast too.

I've been using rainwater to water everything and I've gotten tired of hauling water from the garden back up to my porch ( I have a spigot down there tied to a rainwater system) so I purchased this the other day:

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It's basically a device that opens up and diverts rainwater in the open position, and I am very happy with it. See the results:

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When it rains hard it's kinda like a rocket though:

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I'll probably install a larger reservoir at some point but the 5-gallon buckets work nice too.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:39 pm

I discovered a couple of free-loaders the other day on my dill plant. How they were able to escape detection until they became this size and subsequently eat half of the plant baffles me as I water these plants every day. They are pretty though:

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I did a little research and it turns out they turn into papilio polyxenes, or the eastern black swallowtail. And wouldn't you know it, they feast on members of the parsley family, such as dill. I also have a parsely plant which I am going to check for eggs and I may try to hatch some butterflies out if I find them.

If you are curious: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papilio_polyxenes

The main garden was a disaster this year. Nothing grew well and most of the plants were half the size they normally are. I think I know what happened. Last year I put a bunch of compost on the beds and whatever was in that compost has stunted all of my plants. It was supposed to be simple horse shit and hay but something else has to be in there. I'm going to look into performing a soil test to where I've screwed up as I need to fix this before next year. It's been a shame.

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